Monday, 26 May 2014

Punk Spirituality (Part 1)

Punk legend Henry Rollins of Black Flag and Rollins Band

Very recently I've started thinking about creative energy and the emotional energy that often fuels creativity. In particular, how Punk blew the world away with its explosive, aggressive energy. John Lydon's lyric, from Public Image Limited's 'Rise', that "Anger is an energy" continues to hold meaning and relevance through the decades and holds resonance for me at the moment. In past Greenbelt services, ARA has drawn upon Punk source material as part of worship, notably with Sham 69 "If the kids are united" (...then we'll never be divided) and X-Ray Spex "Oh bondage, up yours!"

There's a tension between traditional punk ideologies and the Christian faith that I think is fascinating. On the one hand, Jesus seems to embody punk ethos by way of being anti-establishment, non-conformist, championing equality. But it is (arguably) rare that he embodies other punk ideals, such as aggression and individualism. The punk ideal of being (seemingly) anti-everything led it to a defining culture of DIY - recycle clothing to demonstrate anti-consumerism, make your own records to be anti-establishment, etc.

I'm interested to explore this further and see where it leads. Just how much of a punk was Jesus? How many punk ideals can comfortably sit alongside the Christian faith? Feel free to comment below with your thoughts on the subject.

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